Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Nut-stuffed delicata

The description on this recipe says it is a good winter warm-up with a nice "meatiness" despite being meatless. It says it is a good recipe for a "special occasion."

I hitchhiked in New Mexico once. I thumbed a ride to a youth hostel & horse ranch near Taos. I stayed at the hostel and walked all over that country, just walking, checking everything out, taking pictures, reading books by writers like John McPhee and Edward Abbey. I wrote all about nothing in a spiral bound notebook. One night a cowboy named Ryder James (serious!) knocked on the door of my tiny little cabin that looked more like an outhouse than a bunk room. He had a box of junior mints, a pint of Jack, and a guitar. "Wanna hang out?" I'd met him feeding the horses through the fence. I can still see his dark face and the shadow of his hat brim across his eyes in the setting sun. There had been an afternoon thunderstorm and the ground was still damp, the smell of sage and wet earth cooling the sun's burn and tempering the hot, feathery desert air. We hung out on the patio and Ryder told stories about his rodeo days in Phoenix. Before long, we were joined by a girl with long braids named Jill who said she'd come to New Mexico from Chicago to write a book about the metaphysical properties of Hawaii. That didn't seem strange at the time. Now it makes me giggle. She was so serious in her pursuit of truth as she was certain it existed in a geographical vortex (and maybe she'd really found it!). She offered us some tofu chili. Ryder got out his guitar. He played R.E.M. and James Taylor and sang his own sweetly funny cowboy rendition of Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight." The three of us went for a walk and kissed and messed around under the stars.

That was a special occasion. I thought of New Mexico and Ryder James and metaphysical Jill when I cooked up the delicata. Maybe it was the sage. I always remember the desert when I pick sage leaves from the garden and chop them into ribbons. The smell lingers in the air a long time. Or maybe it's the way roasted delicata on a cold night provides the perfect kind of warmth.

Give it a try: Nut-stuffed delicata. Easily serves 3 or 4.


Craig Sorensen said...

Great story Kristen.

And I love the scent of sage too!

Neve Black said...

"A box of junior mints, a pint of Jack and guitar." Yep, that would have done it for me too. :-)

Nice post, chica.

Jeremy Edwards said...


And what a perfect coming-of-age experience for those junior mints.

Jeremy Edwards said...

All right, now: The next spamword is unican, which is either (a) a tin manufactured in one piece, (b) a unicorn with a can-opener where the horn is normally found, or (c) an adjective describing a United States–Canadian something or other (e.g., a border-straddling, can-opening unicorn).

Kirsten Monroe said...

Yes, those junior mints had a jolly good time.

Unican -- I love the unicorn image -- but it could also be a pair of panties that work for men and women -- (can as in ass). I guess that would probably be unicanties though. Nope, must be a unicorn. I'll go with the border-straddling (C)!

Jeremy Edwards said...

can as in ass

Hmm ... I wonder if there are some primates whose butt cracks don't extend as far up their asses as ours do. If so, then the upper part of their behinds might look more like a single buttock, or unican. You know, sort of like a "monobrow."

My current spamword is gonym, which must be a nickname used by people cheering one on in a race—or people telling one to fuck off:

"Keep it up, Jer-Jer! Just one more mile!"


"Would you get the fuck out of here already, Jeremooch?"

Donna said...

A luscious story and a luscious sounding recipe! I do think you could expand this for the next suitable anthology. I'll be first in line to read between the lines!

Kirsten Monroe said...

"Jermooch?" How adorable is that?

Thanks Donna! -- Maybe I could make that into a real story. Hmmmm....

Emerald said...

Hey KM -- I agree with Donna, it definitely has full story potential as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks for sharing!

Kirsten Monroe said...

Potential is good! Thanks Emerald!!